Google Chrome missing www and how to fix it

Chrome started rolling out update 69 at the beginning of this month (September 2018) causing a missing www in the address bar. There are two things this update did that you need to be aware of.

Google Chrome Update 69 Changes

  • Show trivial sub-domains (missing www in the address bar)
    • Fix: Type this in your address bar:
    • chrome://flags/#omnibox-ui-hide-steady-state-url-scheme-and-subdomains
    • Set to DISABLED
  • Chrome now defaults to SSL / HTTPS for all websites
    • So I didn’t realize this happened and launched a new ubuntu web server to find it unreachable with apache installed. After wasting a lot of time, more than I’m willing to tell you here, I found out the new version of chrome will default to https:// before everything unless you explicitly put http:// in the address bar. This includes IP addresses and the like. So make sure you have SSL certs updated otherwise you are going to have a bad time.

Video Walkthrough


I typically love a lot of the Google projects and updates they do, but the missing www in the address bar left me a little puzzled and why they thought they needed to do it. On the plus side, I do like the new chrome tabs, so the entire update is not all bad. Also, the changes to default to secure sites has been a long time coming. There are many different reasons for this, but the fact is by forcing webmasters to use SSL and get secure is a good thing. These days non-secure http sites can easily be exploited by a variety of different methods and this is a welcomed change in my opinion.